Premier Hockey League (PHL) India
I thought I'd write something about India's national game of hockey for a change. The Premier Hockey League was started three years ago with new rules to make hockey popular in the country. I did'nt watch many matches in the first season of 2005 when it was held at an empty stadium in Hyderabad. However, last year I watched most of the matches and all three finals. The matches were shown live and the stadium in Chandigarh from was packed with cheering spectators.
I was supporting Chandigarh Dynamos mainly because I thought one of the foreign players on the team - Balder Bomans of Holland was real cute ! He also played well. Too bad, then when my team lost in the best of three finals. The only thing that ruined the Premier Hockey League last year was the chest thumping, walking off the field histrionics by Dhanraj Pillay of the Maratha Warriors. Really, what a sore loser !
This year there is only one division or tier. The seven teams - Chandigarh Dynamos, Maratha Warriors, Sher-e-Jalandhar, Bangalore Lions, Chennai Veerans, Orissa Steelers and Hyderabad Sultans play 2 matches each against each other in the league. I haven't caught many matches as most of them are not live - even the final is scheduled to be played through tape on ESPN. There is no zing or rush like last year. Half the matches were held at a stadium in Bangalore which was completely empty and bored me stiff. The remaining matches are being held in Chandigarh where atleast some crowd has turned up to watch and cheer.
My favorite team - Chandigarh Dynamos is way back in the PHL standings and has very little chance to catch up. There is a live match on Friday, maybe they'll play Balder Bomans in his new hairstyle. Of the two teams leading the PHL standings with 14 points each, I think Sher-e-Jallandhar stand a better chance to win the PHL championship than Orissa Steelers. Maybe Chandigarh Dynamos will play better in the home matches. The team is so unlucky - players keep getting injured. Best of luck guys !
Have you ever watched Premier League Hockey - PHL matches ?